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Fitness & Health

05th Jun 2018

Man loses seven stone and an entire foot from waistline

Despite once having a 46-inch waist, Mark Johnson is now lean, healthy and happy.

Alex Roberts

Watford man Mark Johnson has battled having a ‘bum-shaped belly’ to lose a foot off his waistline

Johnson, 38, often binged on multiple fast food meals a day, and once amassed a 46” waist. Often afraid of taking his top off while on holiday, the father-of-two knew change was needed when his kids joked that he had a ‘bum-shaped belly’.

Three years on, the customer services rep has lost exactly a foot off his waistline and almost seven stone in weight.

At his heaviest, Mark ballooned to some 23 stone, a situation exacerbated by consuming multiple fast food meals each and every day.

His health issues really hit home while on holiday in Mexico, back in 2012.

“I wouldn’t really take my top off on holiday because I was so self-conscious.

“I jumped into the pool and swam to the other side, as part of a drinking game run by holiday reps. My friend filmed it – when I saw the video I was shocked.

“I was massive and looked like I could hardly run to jump, let alone swim!”

At a triple XL clothing size and waist of 46 inches, Mark realised long-lasting change was needed. Initially, however, he found frustration as his weight would just yo-yo.

Attempting to take on overly restrictive, liquid diets, Mark has admitted that this kind of nutrition was ‘stupid’ and merely fuelled his cravings for fast food.

“It was fry-ups, fast food, pizza, fish and chips – that’s not to mention ice cream, big bags of crisps and biscuits on top of that.”

Mark’s struggle to find a structured diet he could adhere to was compounded when his marriage began to break down in 2013.

He began running and playing rugby occasionally as a release, but still struggled to shift the pounds.

“I’d pile everything back on that I lost over the weekend – my back and knees would ache for days.”

Mark joined the gym in a bid to boost his weight loss pursuits, but lacked the confidence to enter the weights room and starting lifting.

It was only when his kids remarked that he had a ‘bum shaped belly’ that Mark decided change simply had to occur.

“I googled training plans and stumbled across LDN Muscle’s online training guides.

“After doing some research, it was apparent that their guides had helped others lose weight and keep it off. I couldn’t afford to hire a PT and thought why not give it a shot for a small one-off investment.”

This decision sparked the onset of a hugely impressive transformation. Not looking back since, Mark has trimmed 12 inches off his waistline and lost nearly seven stone in the process.

He now says he’s ‘happier than ever’, boasting a newly trimmed frame of just 16 stone 2lbs.

On that, Mark now trains with free weights four times a week, complimenting this resistance work with one or two sessions of cardio.

He added: “I’m now full of energy and no longer fear the free weights section!”

Now a size 34-inch waist, Mark’s diet has now been transformed, yet still allows him to remain flexible.

Factoring foods into calorie and macro targets caters for the occasional indulgence, with little cost to his new-found physique.

“I’ve learnt how to track my nutrition relative to my goals and no longer feel guilty enjoying the odd kebab etc. – there really are no good or bad foods, it’s about just finding the balance.”

Mark’s new diet:


  • Poached eggs on toast with avocado
  • Porridge/overnight oats


  • Homemade chicken, rice or pasta with vegetables


  • A similar homemade dinner, or a treat that is factored into calorie/macro targets


  • Greek yoghurt with fruit OR homemade smoothie

Alongside new girlfriend Nicola, Mark now hopes to continue to hone his new-found physique through the rest of 2018.

If you – or someone you know – has made an impressive transformation with a story to tell, you could be featured on JOE’s Transformation Tuesday!

Just send your nominations to [email protected]